|Publication number||US6926672 B2|
|Application number||US 10/323,718|
|Publication date||9 Aug 2005|
|Filing date||18 Dec 2002|
|Priority date||18 Dec 2002|
|Also published as||US20040122322|
|Publication number||10323718, 323718, US 6926672 B2, US 6926672B2, US-B2-6926672, US6926672 B2, US6926672B2|
|Inventors||Thomas L. Moore, Karl A. Fisher|
|Original Assignee||Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (94), Non-Patent Citations (16), Referenced by (12), Classifications (7), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The Government has rights in this invention pursuant to U.S. Dept. of Energy Work for Others Agreement L-8420.
The present invention relates generally to acoustic imaging systems. More particularly, the present invention relates to acoustic transducers for use in acoustic imaging systems.
There are a number of disadvantages associated with various imaging systems that are currently in use, particularly when used for medical applications. For example, a number of imaging techniques, such as x-ray imaging, mammography, and computed tomographic (CT) scans, use ionizing radiation that presents a risk of cell mutation when used medically. Also, CT scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques both involve procedures that are relatively expensive, a factor that by itself acts to some degree to limit their use. A significant disadvantage of methods such as mammography is that they rely on two-dimensional images that may disguise three-dimensional structure information that can be critical for diagnosis.
As an alternative to these imaging technologies, the medical community has looked to ultrasound for providing a safe, low-cost, high-resolution imaging tool. There are, however, significant limitations to conventional ultrasound, which may be used in A or B scanning modes. Such modes are distinguished by the fact that an A scan is purely one dimensional while a B scan produces a two-dimensional image. As a result, imaging applications tend to use ultrasonic B scanning. In such conventional ultrasound analysis, a small array of elements is moved by hand in contact with tissue under study. The array sends out waves that reflect from tissues back to the same array. This arrangement results in two major drawbacks. First, ultrasonic B scans do not provide information on the properties of the materials themselves; rather, they provide information only on the reflectivity of the boundaries between different types of materials. Second, the array is incapable of capturing radiation except that reflected back to the hand-held sensing array. Considerable information exists, however, in the transmitted waves, but this information is neither captured not used diagnostically in conventional ultrasonic B scans.
It is expected that improved diagnoses may result from systems that permit the collection of greater amounts of information. Factors that inhibit the development of such systems include limitations on the cost of appropriate acoustic transducers, such costs being influenced by needs for high sensitivity and small size. There is thus a general need for improved acoustic transducers that achieve such sensitivity and size, but which may be manufactured with simple processes that do not increase the cost prohibitively. Furthermore, there is a general need in the art for improved acoustic transducers that may readily be integrated into acoustic imaging systems, particularly as applied to medical applications.
Embodiments of the invention thus provide an electret-based acoustic transducer array that may be used in a system for examining tissue. In one embodiment, the acoustic transducer array is formed with a substrate that has a plurality of distinct cells formed therein. Within each of the distinct cells is positioned an acoustic transducing element formed of an electret material. A conductive membrane is formed over the distinct cells and may be flexible. The distinct cells may be arranged linearly in a single dimension or may be provided in a two-dimensional arrangement. In some embodiments, a plurality of amplifiers may also be formed within the substrate, each such amplifier being connected with one of the acoustic transducing elements.
One or more such acoustic transducer arrays may be comprised by a sensor system that forms part of the system for examining tissue. In such an embodiment, a control system is additionally provided in communication with the sensor system and has a controller adapted to control the acoustic transducer arrays for insonifying the tissue and receiving scattered acoustic radiation from the tissue. The acoustic transducer arrays may be positioned such that the acoustic transducing elements are disposed to surround at least a portion of the tissue. For example, each acoustic transducer array may be positioned in one of a plurality of paddles, which may in certain embodiments include a pliable bladder for contacting the tissue.
A further understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention may be realized by reference to the remaining portions of the specification and the drawings wherein like reference numerals are used throughout the several drawings to refer to similar components. In some instances, a sublabel is associated with a reference numeral and is enclosed in parentheses to denote one of multiple similar components. When reference is made to a reference numeral without specification to an existing sublabel, it is intended to refer to all such multiple similar components.
Embodiments of the invention are directed generally to acoustic transducer arrays that may be used in systems for examining objects under study, such as tissue.
The system includes a sensor system 104, a control system 108, and an operator system 112. A connection 116 is provided for the transfer of information between the sensor system 104 and the control system 108 and a connection (not shown in
In the embodiment shown, the sensor system 104 includes a support 136, a source for power connections 120, and a sensor that includes a pair of paddles 128. The lower paddle 128-2 is fixed to the support 136, but the upper paddle 128-1 is configured to be moved with handle 132 to compress the patient's breast between the two paddles 128. Each of the paddles 128 comprises arrays of ultrasonic transmission and receiving elements (sometimes referred to herein generically as “transducing elements” or “transducers”). In one embodiment, 512 transmission elements and 512 receiving elements are provided in each paddle. A tomographic “view” is defined by data generated for transmission of acoustic radiation from a single transmission element and reception by a plurality of the receiving elements. A tomographic “slice” is defined by data generated for a plurality of views, i.e. derived from transmission of acoustic radiation from a plurality of transmission elements and reception by a plurality of receiving elements.
The control system 108 comprises hardware used to form and time ultrasonic transmission pulses. It further comprises circuitry that records the received ultrasonic waveforms. In one embodiment, the control system 108 is partitioned into a plurality of receiver cards that each comprise a plurality of channels. In one embodiment, 64 receiver cards are provided, each comprising 16 channels. A receive waveform from each channel is amplified and digitized with a high-dynamic-range analog-to-digital converter (“ADC”). After each transmission pulse, the waveform data are compressed and transferred to a local random-access memory (“RAM”) capable of storing the waveform data for at least 100 tomographic slices. Such an architecture permits recordation of a tomographic slice in approximately 0.3 seconds so that the total acquisition time for a 100-slice breast scan is approximately 30 seconds.
Thus, in operation, the patient 140 has an interaction 152 with the sensor system 104 by being positioned so that the paddles 128 are contacting the patient's breast. The operator 148 has an interaction 154 with the operator system 112 to set up the operational parameters. In one embodiment, the operator system 112 is configured to provide a graphical user interface from which operational parameters such as mode selection and timing initiation may be established. The operator system 112 derives control information from the instructions provided by the operator 148, which is then transferred through interaction 162 to the control system 108.
Once the operation mode has been established, data acquisition by the sensor system 104 is initiated by a master timing pulse derived from a master timing oscillator comprised by the control system 108. Such a pulse is communicated to the sensor system through interaction 160. The sensor, shown as paddles 128 in the illustrated embodiment, insonifies the tissue volume and receives transmitted and reflected radiation. Transducing elements within the paddles 128 convert the received acoustic information into electrical signals that are communicated back to the control system 108 through interaction 158. The control system 108 performs an analysis of the electrical signals to derive image information that is returned to the operator system 112 through interaction 156. A professional evaluator 144, such as a radiologist, may then interact directly with the operator system 112 to view the rendered data. In alternative embodiments, selected views of the rendered data may be printed or stored for later viewing and analysis by the evaluator 144.
According to embodiments of the invention, the transducing elements comprised by the sensor system 104 comprise electric material and may be configured in the form of an acoustic transducer array. Electret materials are of a general class of materials that may be processed so that they maintain a permanent electric field set in a manner analogous to permanently magnetizing a magnetic material. For example, certain electrets may be made of organic compounds by cooling from a liquid or soft state to the solid state in the presence of an electric field or through polymerization in the presence of an electric field. Typical materials that may be used to make electrets include beeswax and polymers such as polyvinylidene fluoride. Such electrets are useful as transducing elements since their mechanical impedance is well matched to the impedance of living tissue. In some instances, the consistency of an electret may be changed by using different substances or combinations of substances. Matching impedance of the transducing elements to the tissue has the advantage of higher sensitivity and better signal-to-noise ratio.
The use of such electret materials as transducing elements derives from the fact that they generally have piezoelectric properties, i.e. deformation of the electret material results in a change in electric field. The ability to respond to deformations such as may be provided by acoustic waves makes the material suitable as a receiving element R. Alternatively, the electret material may be used as a transmission element T by imposing an additional periodic electric field to produce acoustic waves from the resulting periodic deformation of the material.
One embodiment in which the acoustic transducing elements are configured as an array is illustrated in
There are various ways in which such an array may be manufactured, including using micromachining techniques. For example, the common substrate may comprise a silicon substrate within which the cells 208 are formed using a combination of patterning and etching. The patterning, such as produced by optical exposure of photoresist through a mask, is used to define the configuration of the array, and a suitable anisotropic etching technique, such as wet anisotropic etching, plasma etching, reactive-ion etching (“RIE”), or deep reactive-ion etching (“DRIE”), is used to produce the cells 208. The electret material is deposited within the individual cells 208 using any suitable deposition technique, which includes epitaxy, oxidation, sputtering, evaporation, various forms of chemical-vapor deposition, spin-on methods, sol-gel methods, anodic bonding, electroplating, and fusion bonding.
In embodiments where the transducing elements 212 are configured as receivers, each of the cells 208 may be connected with a preamplifier 216 integrated within the substrate 204. After the electret material converts received acoustic signals into electrical signals, such a preamplifier 216 is used to boost the electrical signals and allow sufficient power to drive signal cables. In other embodiments, the transducing elements 212 may be configured as transmitting elements. It is advantageous in various applications for some of the transducing elements 212 to be configured as receivers and for other of the transducing elements to be configured as transmitting elements.
The transducer array 200 may be incorporated into a variety of configurations. One embodiment, shown explicitly in
The pliable coupling bladder 312 is filled with a medium that is acoustically matched to the transmission medium 316. In operation, the exterior portion of the coupling bladder 312, i.e. that portion that is to be in contact with a patient's tissue, is coated with a coupling gel. The quality of data generated may be adversely affected by the presence of bubbles when the paddle is placed in contact with the tissue. The pliability of the coupling bladder 312 thus provides an adaptable interface for improving patient contact and reducing trapped air bubbles. In some instances, only a portion of the coupling bladder 312 is pliable, depending on characteristics of the tissue to be studied, particularly the firmness of the tissue to be studied. Patient scanning follows an approximately inverse law of firmness in relation to the surface being scanned. For example, imaging of a soft organ such as the breast benefits from a firmer flat surface to squeeze out bubbles during mild initial compression. Conversely, imaging of firm and/or irregular contours such as a joint surface benefits from greater pliability. A coupling bladder 312 that includes both firm portions 314 and pliable portions 315 may thus effectively accommodate specific tissue configurations. For example, the coupling bladder 312 for use in breast examination may be pliable on the portion of the paddle 128 extending into the firmer tissues of the axilla, with the remainder of the paddle 128 being flat and firm to better squeeze out air bubbles in contact with the compliant breast tissue. The resultant ability to facilitate insonification of the axilla region is beneficial because it permits acoustic coupling of regions that are traditionally difficult to reach.
In the illustrated embodiment, a transducer array 320 configured with a plurality of electret transducing elements formed in cells of a common substrate is included within the transmission medium 316 of each paddle. Depending in part on the specific application, the array 320 may be configured in a one- or two-dimensional pattern. For example, in a particular embodiment, the array 320 is configured as a monolithic linear assembly that extends orthogonally to the cross section shown in FIG. 3A. In that embodiment, it is further configured as part of a carriage subsystem for moving the array 320 in an orthogonal direction, i.e. left-right in FIG. 3A. Such movement permits the array 320 to scan through the tissue to be examined. Thus, in addition to the electret-transducer array 320, the carriage subsystem comprises translation elements, such as a lead screw arrangement 324 and mount 336. Other translation mechanisms, such as use of a recirculating ball, will be known to those of skill in the art and may be substituted for the illustrated arrangement.
A detail of the electret-transducer array 320 and translation mechanism is shown in
The translation mechanisms of the two acoustic arrays in the upper 128-1 and lower paddles 128-2 are configured so that the arrays are positioned substantially opposite each other in the same acoustic plane with the opposing elements facing each other. Thus, in a specific embodiment, each of the transmitting elements T sends a pulse that insonifies the intermediate tissue. The acoustic waveform scattered from the tissue is received by the receiving elements R.
This is shown schematically in
In one mode of operation, the beam pattern produced for each slice is wide in an image plane but is narrow in a thickness plane. After a slice has been taken, both acoustic arrays 128 are moved a distance through the thickness plane and the cycle is repeated. While such a method of operation is suitable for normal tomographic scans, the system is also amenable to alternative scanning techniques. For example, for B scans, a group of transmission elements T may be activated simultaneously to form a plane wave across the tissue rather than forming a series of acoustic pulses.
The generation of acoustic waveforms at block 408 comprises: (1) positioning acoustic transducers for each tomographic slice; (2) generating the acoustic pulses to insonify the tissue; (3) capturing waveforms transmitted through and reflected from the tissue; and (4) using acoustic pulse timing signals to control the conversion function at block 412. The acoustic transducers are positioned by first moving them to a known home position prior to a scan cycle. The number of tomographic slices to be generated and the spacing between the slices is then received from the controller function 404. These acoustic pulses are generated by receiving transmit setup information form the controller function 404, the transmit setup information including the number and location of the transmission elements, the ganging of the transmission elements, the wave shape of the transmit pulse, and the transmit timing. Acoustic pulses are thus generated according to the setup parameters.
Once the transmitted and reflected waveforms are captured, they are processed by the conversion function at block 412. Such conversion into digital format comprises receiving both conversion setup information from the controller function 404 and receiving waveforms and timing signals from the generation function 408. In one embodiment, the minimum sampling is at least three times the highest frequency of interest, equivalent to 1.5 times the Nyquist criterion. The waveforms are converted to digital format under control of the timing signals and the digitized data are sent to the preprocessing function at block 416.
At block 416, the digitized data are preprocessed. This preprocessing comprises receiving setup information from the controller function 404 and receiving timing information from the conversion function 412. Regardless of the type of preprocessing called for by the controller function 404, the preprocessing function 416 reduces the amount of data collected by limiting the bandwidth of the data and by limiting the number of data samples. These windowed data are saved for further processing. In one embodiment, depending on the setup parameters received from the control function, preprocessing comprises determining the time of arrival and the amplitude of the direct coupling pulse; the direct coupling pulse is then removed and the remainder of the time series of data is retained, from which the complex phase and amplitude are determined for the remaining data. In certain embodiments, preprocessing further comprises sending data-quality images to the display function so that the operator 148 can assess the quality of the data being collected.
At block 420, two-dimensional tomographic slices are reconstructed. In embodiments having a plurality of sensor systems 104, each reconstruction may be coordinated by a central control system 108 rather than requiring a reconstruction system to be associated with each sensor system. Reconstructing such slices comprises receiving setup parameters and a signal to begin reconstruction from the controller function 404. Preprocessed data are received from the preprocessing function 416 and may perform any of a variety of reconstructions described in detail below. Such reconstruction algorithms include, without limitation, full-aperture tomography (“FAT”) algorithms, quantitative full-aperture tomography (“QFAT”) algorithms, diffraction tomography algorithms, and full-wave reconstruction algorithms. In some embodiments, a plurality of reconstruction algorithms are executed on the same data set to provide additional diagnostic information.
The two-dimensional reconstructed slices are assembled into a three-dimensional data set. In one embodiment, each element of the three-dimensional data set contains values for at least one physical quantity, such as sound speed, attenuation, density, compressibility, reflectivity, absorption, and/or acoustic impedance changes from each of the reconstructions. A three-dimensional data set is thus rendered at block 424 upon receipt of setup information from the controller function 404, with a signal to display the rendered data. In one embodiment, the rendering is capable of providing three orthogonal views of arbitrary orientation and position. In another embodiment, the rendering is capable of superimposing data derived from a plurality of reconstruction techniques. Such a plurality of reconstruction techniques permit production of isosurface or semitransparent volume rendering.
At block 428, B-scan images are reconstructed. Such reconstruction comprises receiving setup information from the control system and receiving data and timing signals from the preprocessing function 416.
At block 432, data are displayed in the form of images. Rendered images and B-scan images are received from the rendering function 424 and from the B-scan reconstruction function and displayed for the operator 148. In certain embodiments, data-quality images derived from the preprocessing function 416 are also displayed so that the operator 148 may assess the quality of the data being collected.
Having described several embodiments, it will be recognized by those of skill in the art that various modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents may be used without departing from the spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the above description should not be taken as limiting the scope of the invention, which is defined in the following claims.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3154067||11 Oct 1961||27 Oct 1964||Robert L Gannon||Body function sensor|
|US3881466||20 Aug 1973||6 May 1975||Advanced Diagnostic Res||Ultrasonic cross-sectional imaging system|
|US3886489||25 Feb 1974||27 May 1975||Westinghouse Electric Corp||Ultrasonic image converter and system|
|US3925610 *||12 Aug 1974||9 Dec 1975||Bell Telephone Labor Inc||Graphic communications tablet|
|US4028934||4 Nov 1975||14 Jun 1977||Yeda Research & Development Co. Ltd.||Ultrasonic stereoscopic imaging device|
|US4059010||23 Jun 1975||22 Nov 1977||Sachs Thomas D||Ultrasonic inspection and diagnosis system|
|US4075883||20 Aug 1976||28 Feb 1978||General Electric Company||Ultrasonic fan beam scanner for computerized time-of-flight tomography|
|US4105018||2 Feb 1976||8 Aug 1978||University Of Utah||Acoustic examination, material characterization and imaging of the internal structure of a body by measurement of the time-of-flight of acoustic energy therethrough|
|US4144877 *||12 Aug 1976||20 Mar 1979||Yeda Research And Development Co. Ltd.||Instrument for viscoelastic measurement|
|US4222274||15 Sep 1978||16 Sep 1980||Johnson Steven A||Ultrasound imaging apparatus and method|
|US4250894||14 Nov 1978||17 Feb 1981||Yeda Research & Development Co., Ltd.||Instrument for viscoelastic measurement|
|US4317369||8 May 1980||2 Mar 1982||University Of Utah||Ultrasound imaging apparatus and method|
|US4515165||15 Sep 1981||7 May 1985||Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.||Apparatus and method for detecting tumors|
|US4542744||23 Mar 1983||24 Sep 1985||North American Philips Corporation||Method and apparatus for remote tissue identification by statistical modeling and hypothesis testing of echo ultrasound signals|
|US4564019||30 Mar 1983||14 Jan 1986||Fujitsu Limited||Method for measuring characteristics of living tissues by ultrasonic waves|
|US4662222||21 Dec 1984||5 May 1987||Johnson Steven A||Apparatus and method for acoustic imaging using inverse scattering techniques|
|US4671256||25 May 1984||9 Jun 1987||Lemelson Jerome H||Medical scanning, monitoring and treatment system and method|
|US4855911||16 Nov 1987||8 Aug 1989||Massachusetts Institute Of Technology||Ultrasonic tissue characterization|
|US4858124||11 Aug 1987||15 Aug 1989||Riverside Research Institute||Method for enhancement of ultrasonic image data|
|US4917096||25 Nov 1987||17 Apr 1990||Laboratory Equipment, Corp.||Portable ultrasonic probe|
|US4941474||1 Jul 1988||17 Jul 1990||Massachusetts Institute Of Technology||Multivariable analysis of bone condition|
|US5003979||21 Feb 1989||2 Apr 1991||University Of Virginia||System and method for the noninvasive identification and display of breast lesions and the like|
|US5029476||7 Sep 1989||9 Jul 1991||Westinghouse Electric Corp.||Ultrasonic system for determining the profile of solid bodies|
|US5143069||3 Aug 1990||1 Sep 1992||Orthosonics, Inc.||Diagnostic method of monitoring skeletal defect by in vivo acoustic measurement of mechanical strength using correlation and spectral analysis|
|US5158071||27 Jun 1989||27 Oct 1992||Hitachi, Ltd.||Ultrasonic apparatus for therapeutical use|
|US5179455||22 Nov 1991||12 Jan 1993||Advanced Imaging Systems||Ultrasonic holographic imaging apparatus having an improved optical reconstruction system|
|US5212571||22 Nov 1991||18 May 1993||Advanced Imaging Systems||Ultrasonic holographic imaging apparatus having zoom feature|
|US5255683||30 Dec 1991||26 Oct 1993||Sound Science Limited Partnership||Methods of and systems for examining tissue perfusion using ultrasonic contrast agents|
|US5260871||31 Jul 1991||9 Nov 1993||Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research||Method and apparatus for diagnosis of breast tumors|
|US5269309||11 Dec 1991||14 Dec 1993||Fort J Robert||Synthetic aperture ultrasound imaging system|
|US5280788||26 Feb 1991||25 Jan 1994||Massachusetts Institute Of Technology||Devices and methods for optical diagnosis of tissue|
|US5304173||20 Jul 1993||19 Apr 1994||Massachusetts Institute Of Technology||Spectral diagonostic and treatment system|
|US5318028||7 Jun 1993||7 Jun 1994||Westinghouse Electric Corporation||High resolution ultrasound mammography system and boundary array scanner therefor|
|US5329817||22 Nov 1991||19 Jul 1994||Advanced Imaging Systems||Ultrasonic holography imaging method and apparatus|
|US5339282||2 Oct 1992||16 Aug 1994||University Of Utah Research Foundation||Resolution enhancement for ultrasonic reflection mode imaging|
|US5349954||23 Jul 1993||27 Sep 1994||General Electric Company||Tumor tissue characterization apparatus and method|
|US5398691||3 Sep 1993||21 Mar 1995||University Of Washington||Method and apparatus for three-dimensional translumenal ultrasonic imaging|
|US5413108||21 Apr 1993||9 May 1995||The Research Foundation Of City College Of New York||Method and apparatus for mapping a tissue sample for and distinguishing different regions thereof based on luminescence measurements of cancer-indicative native fluorophor|
|US5415164||8 Mar 1993||16 May 1995||Biofield Corp.||Apparatus and method for screening and diagnosing trauma or disease in body tissues|
|US5433202||31 Mar 1994||18 Jul 1995||Westinghouse Electric Corporation||High resolution and high contrast ultrasound mammography system with heart monitor and boundary array scanner providing electronic scanning|
|US5463548||28 Apr 1993||31 Oct 1995||Arch Development Corporation||Method and system for differential diagnosis based on clinical and radiological information using artificial neural networks|
|US5465722||20 Sep 1994||14 Nov 1995||Fort; J. Robert||Synthetic aperture ultrasound imaging system|
|US5474072||29 Oct 1993||12 Dec 1995||Neovision Corporation||Methods and apparatus for performing sonomammography|
|US5479927||20 Jul 1994||2 Jan 1996||Neovision Corporation||Methods and apparatus for performing sonomammography and enhanced x-ray imaging|
|US5485839||2 Sep 1994||23 Jan 1996||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba||Method and apparatus for ultrasonic wave medical treatment using computed tomography|
|US5487387||3 Jun 1994||30 Jan 1996||Duke University||Method and apparatus for distinguishing between solid masses and fluid-filled cysts|
|US5548658||6 Jun 1994||20 Aug 1996||Knowles Electronics, Inc.||Acoustic Transducer|
|US5553618||14 Mar 1994||10 Sep 1996||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba||Method and apparatus for ultrasound medical treatment|
|US5558092||6 Jun 1995||24 Sep 1996||Imarx Pharmaceutical Corp.||Methods and apparatus for performing diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound simultaneously|
|US5573497||28 Feb 1995||12 Nov 1996||Technomed Medical Systems And Institut National||High-intensity ultrasound therapy method and apparatus with controlled cavitation effect and reduced side lobes|
|US5582173||18 Sep 1995||10 Dec 1996||Siemens Medical Systems, Inc.||System and method for 3-D medical imaging using 2-D scan data|
|US5588032||14 Oct 1992||24 Dec 1996||Johnson; Steven A.||Apparatus and method for imaging with wavefields using inverse scattering techniques|
|US5590653||9 Mar 1994||7 Jan 1997||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba||Ultrasonic wave medical treatment apparatus suitable for use under guidance of magnetic resonance imaging|
|US5596992||30 Jun 1993||28 Jan 1997||Sandia Corporation||Multivariate classification of infrared spectra of cell and tissue samples|
|US5606971||13 Nov 1995||4 Mar 1997||Artann Corporation, A Nj Corp.||Method and device for shear wave elasticity imaging|
|US5620479||31 Jan 1995||15 Apr 1997||The Regents Of The University Of California||Method and apparatus for thermal therapy of tumors|
|US5640956||7 Jun 1995||24 Jun 1997||Neovision Corporation||Methods and apparatus for correlating ultrasonic image data and radiographic image data|
|US5643179||28 Dec 1994||1 Jul 1997||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba||Method and apparatus for ultrasonic medical treatment with optimum ultrasonic irradiation control|
|US5664573||16 Nov 1995||9 Sep 1997||Neovision Corporation||Method and apparatus for performing sonomammography and enhanced X-ray imaging|
|US5678565||27 Feb 1996||21 Oct 1997||Artann Corporation||Ultrasonic elasticity imaging method and device|
|US5722411||23 Jul 1996||3 Mar 1998||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba||Ultrasound medical treatment apparatus with reduction of noise due to treatment ultrasound irradiation at ultrasound imaging device|
|US5743863||2 Oct 1996||28 Apr 1998||Technomed Medical Systems And Institut National||High-intensity ultrasound therapy method and apparatus with controlled cavitation effect and reduced side lobes|
|US5762066||22 May 1995||9 Jun 1998||Ths International, Inc.||Multifaceted ultrasound transducer probe system and methods for its use|
|US5766129||13 Jun 1997||16 Jun 1998||Aloka Co., Ltd.||Ultrasound diagnostic apparatus and method of forming an ultrasound image by the apparatus|
|US5787049 *||7 Nov 1995||28 Jul 1998||Bates; Kenneth N.||Acoustic wave imaging apparatus and method|
|US5797849||7 Mar 1997||25 Aug 1998||Sonometrics Corporation||Method for carrying out a medical procedure using a three-dimensional tracking and imaging system|
|US5800350||14 Feb 1997||1 Sep 1998||Polartechnics, Limited||Apparatus for tissue type recognition|
|US5810731||4 Mar 1997||22 Sep 1998||Artann Laboratories||Method and apparatus for elasticity imaging using remotely induced shear wave|
|US5817025||28 May 1997||6 Oct 1998||Alekseev; Sergei Grigorevich||Method for diagnosing malignancy diseases|
|US5833614||15 Jul 1997||10 Nov 1998||Acuson Corporation||Ultrasonic imaging method and apparatus for generating pulse width modulated waveforms with reduced harmonic response|
|US5833634||9 Nov 1995||10 Nov 1998||Uromed Corporation||Tissue examination|
|US5846202||15 Dec 1997||8 Dec 1998||Acuson Corporation||Ultrasound method and system for imaging|
|US5865167||30 Nov 1995||2 Feb 1999||Dynamics Imaging, Inc.||Method of living system organism diagnostics and apparatus for its realization|
|US5865743||18 Sep 1995||2 Feb 1999||Dynamics Imaging, Inc.||Method of living organism multimodal functional mapping|
|US5891619||14 Jan 1997||6 Apr 1999||Inphocyte, Inc.||System and method for mapping the distribution of normal and abnormal cells in sections of tissue|
|US6002958||1 Dec 1993||14 Dec 1999||Dynamics Imaging, Inc.||Method and apparatus for diagnostics of internal organs|
|US6005916||17 Nov 1997||21 Dec 1999||Techniscan, Inc.||Apparatus and method for imaging with wavefields using inverse scattering techniques|
|US6078677||19 Dec 1997||20 Jun 2000||Microtronic Nederlands B.V.||Electroacoustic transducer with improved diaphragm attachment|
|US6109270||2 Feb 1998||29 Aug 2000||The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics And Space Administration||Multimodality instrument for tissue characterization|
|US6117080||4 Jun 1997||12 Sep 2000||Atl Ultrasound||Ultrasonic imaging apparatus and method for breast cancer diagnosis with the use of volume rendering|
|US6135960||31 Aug 1998||24 Oct 2000||Holmberg; Linda Jean||High-resolution, three-dimensional whole body ultrasound imaging system|
|US6190334||24 May 1999||20 Feb 2001||Rbp, Inc.||Method and apparatus for the imaging of tissue|
|US6425869 *||18 Jul 2000||30 Jul 2002||Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V.||Wideband phased-array transducer for uniform harmonic imaging, contrast agent detection, and destruction|
|US20020131551||17 Dec 2001||19 Sep 2002||Johnson Steven A.||Apparatus and method for imaging objects with wavefields|
|USRE33672||29 Apr 1987||27 Aug 1991||Fujitsu Limited||Method for measuring characteristics of living tissue by ultrasonic waves|
|AU3443295A||Title not available|
|EP0284055B1||23 Mar 1988||15 Sep 1993||Washington Research Foundation||Endoscopically deliverable ultrasound imaging system|
|EP0351610A2||30 Jun 1989||24 Jan 1990||Hitachi, Ltd.||Ultrasonic apparatus for therapeutical use|
|EP0538241A2||30 Jun 1989||21 Apr 1993||Hitachi, Ltd.||Ultrasonic apparatus for therapeutical use|
|EP0538241B1||30 Jun 1989||4 Feb 1998||Hitachi, Ltd.||Ultrasonic apparatus for therapeutical use|
|EP0609922A2||5 Jan 1994||10 Aug 1994||Philips Electronics N.V.||Computer detection of microcalcifications in mammograms|
|EP0661029A1||28 Dec 1994||5 Jul 1995||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba||Method and apparatus for ultrasonic medical treatment with optimum ultrasonic irradiation control|
|EP0774276A2||11 Nov 1996||21 May 1997||Schneider (Usa) Inc.||Apparatus and method for transurethral focussed ultrasound therapy|
|GB2040642A *||Title not available|
|1||Andre, et al. "A New Consideration of Diffraction Computed Tomography for Breast Imaging: Studies in Phantoms and Patients" Acoustical Imaging, J.P. Jones, Plenum Press, New York (1995), pp. 379-390.|
|2||Borup, et al. "Nonperturbative Diffraction Tomography Via Gauss-Newton Iteration Applied to the Scattering Integral Equation" Ultrasonic Imaging, Academic Press, Inc. (1992) vol. 14, pp. 69-85.|
|3||Chelfouh, et al. "Characterization of Urinary Calculi: In Vitro of 'Twinkling Artifact' Revealed by Color-Flow Sonography" American Journal of Roentgenology (1998) vol. 171, pp. 1055-1060.|
|4||Dean, Stanley R., "The Radon Transform and Some of Its Applications" Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida (1993).|
|5||Greenleaf, J.F. "Tissue Characterization with Ultrasound: vol. II: Results and Applications" CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 95-122.|
|6||Greenleaf, J.F., et al. "Introduction to Computer Ultrasound Tomography" Computed Aided Tomography and Ultrasonics in Medicine, North-Holland, (1970); pp. 125-136.|
|7||Greenleaf, J.F., et al. "Mulitdimensional Visualization of Ultrasonic Images" J. Acoust. Soc. Amer. vol. 95 (2902), (1994).|
|8||Hebden, et al. "Acoustically Modulated Electrical Impedance Tomography" Proceedings of the SPIE, vol. 1231 (1990); pp. 7-14.|
|9||Jellins, J. "Breast Tissue Characterizations" Tissue Characterization with Ultrasound, vol. II, CRC Press, (1986); pp. 95-122.|
|10||Johnson, et al. "Comparison of Inverse Scattering and Other Tomographic Imaging Algorithms Using Simulated and Tank Data for Modeling Subbottom Imaging Systems" IEEE Oceans '93 Symposium, Nov. 1993, vol. I, pp. 458-492 (1993).|
|11||Johnson, et al. "Modeling of Inverse Scattering and Other Tomographic Algorithms in Conjunction with Wide Bandwidth Acoustic Transducer Arrays for Towed or Autonomous Sub-bottom Imaging Systems" Proceedings of Mastering the Oceans Through Technology, Oceans Newport, Rhode Island, USA, (Oct. 26-29, 1992), pp. 294-299.|
|12||Louvar, et al. "Correlation of Color Doppler Flow in the Prostate with Tissue Microvascularity" Cancer, (Jul. 1998) vol. 1:83(1); pp. 135-140.|
|13||Nelson, et al. "Interactive Acquisition, Analysis and Visualization of Sonographic Volume Data" International Journal of Imaging Systems and Technology (1997) vol. 8(26), pp. 26-37.|
|14||Sehgal, et al. "Visualization of Breast Calcification by Acoustic Resonance Imaging" Radiology Supplement, 84th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, Nov. 29-Dec. 4, 1998 presented in McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois (1998) vol. 209, listing: 1150.|
|15||Shi, et al. "Effects of Pressure Changes on Harmonic and Subharmonic Response of US Contrast Microbubbles" 84th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, Nov. 29-Dec. 4, 1998 presented in McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois (1998) vol. 209, listing: 1154.|
|16||Wiskin, et al. "Full Inverse Scattering vs. Born-like Approximation for Imaging in a Stratified Ocean" Proc. of Engineering in harmony with the Ocean (Oceans '93), Victoria, British Columbia, Oct. 1993.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7708691 *||29 Jul 2005||4 May 2010||Sonowise, Inc.||Apparatus and method for real time 3D body object scanning without touching or applying pressure to the body object|
|US7771355||29 Jul 2005||10 Aug 2010||Sonowise, Inc.||System and method for medical imaging with robust mode switching via serial channel|
|US8016758||8 Sep 2005||13 Sep 2011||Sonowise, Inc.||User interface for medical imaging including improved pan-zoom control|
|US8287455||27 Oct 2005||16 Oct 2012||Sonowise, Inc.||Synchronized power supply for medical imaging|
|US8317707||30 Jun 2010||27 Nov 2012||Sonowise, Inc.||System and method for medical imaging with robust mode switching via serial channel|
|US8325877||27 Dec 2010||4 Dec 2012||Analogic Corporation||Multi-modality volumetric data acquisition and imaging|
|US8376946||19 Feb 2013||Barbara Ann Karamanos Cancer Institute||Method and apparatus for combined diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound system incorporating noninvasive thermometry, ablation control and automation|
|US8690777||23 Mar 2010||8 Apr 2014||Sonowise, Inc.||Apparatus and method for real time 3D body object scanning without touching or applying pressure to the body object|
|US8781180||19 Mar 2012||15 Jul 2014||Qualcomm Incorporated||Biometric scanner with waveguide array|
|US8942342||29 Dec 2008||27 Jan 2015||Analogic Corporation||Multi-modality image acquisition|
|US9022936||27 Feb 2014||5 May 2015||Butterfly Network, Inc.||Transmissive imaging and related apparatus and methods|
|US9101290||11 Dec 2012||11 Aug 2015||Delphinus Medical Technologies, Inc.||Method of characterizing breast tissue using multiple contrast enhanced ultrasound renderings|
|International Classification||B06B1/02, A61B8/14|
|Cooperative Classification||B06B1/0292, A61B8/14|
|European Classification||A61B8/14, B06B1/02E|
|5 Jun 2003||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BARBARA ANN KARMANOS CANCER INSTITUTE, MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MOORE, THOMAS L.;FISHER, KARL A.;REEL/FRAME:014132/0973;SIGNING DATES FROM 20030429 TO 20030502
|29 Dec 2008||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|25 Mar 2013||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|9 Aug 2013||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|1 Oct 2013||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20130809